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National Security Offers More Than Just Intelligence Jobs

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By Kim Slaughter
Career Coach, GCDF

Do you dream of pursuing a career in national security? Many people wish to work in this field where they can serve, protect and ensure the safety of American citizens.

The field of national security is comprised of 18 federal agencies and many private-sector partners. All national security organizations need individuals who can:

  • Develop strategic plans
  • Assist with budgeting
  • Design and implement human capital strategies
  • Manage procurement and acquisition
  • Oversee physical and personnel security
  • Engage Congress and the media
  • Provide legal advice

Most people know that national security involves roles in intelligence, counterintelligence and cybersecurity, but there are many other lesser-known positions you may not have originally considered pursuing. This exciting field uses individuals with many different backgrounds, education, and skill sets; it includes careers in business, communications, infrastructure, and logistics.

If you desire to support U.S. national security, there are careers in this field that are worth your time to research.

Related link: Returning to the Workforce: What Job Skills Do Employers Want?

Business Jobs in National Security

If you are looking for a business-related career, some federal agencies involved in national security may have opportunities. The National Security Agency (NSA), for example, requires individuals who have majored in business-related fields. The NSA also needs those who have chosen a technical major to support project management and business analytics.

If you have experience or education in these fields, there are national security opportunities you can pursue:

  • Accounting, finance and budgeting
  • Administration
  • Business intelligence
  • Human resources
  • Management
  • Project and contract management
  • Research and analysis

Some business-related positions include staff officers, support specialists, and program or project directors. Also, look at job ads for these positions:

  • Acquisition specialist
  • Budget analyst
  • Business intelligence technologist
  • Contracting specialist
  • Cost analyst
  • Technologist
  • Travel specialist

Communication Positions in National Security

National security requires a robust workforce to support daily activities. It also requires a strong group of individuals to create secure communications.   

Communication plays a massive role in the security of our nation, and national security organizations must communicate vital information to huge and diverse audiences. If you have experience writing clear, compelling communication products, research roles in federal agencies and private-sector organizations.

National security organizations seek individuals who can tell a story. Many national security organizations are looking for individuals with these skills:

  • Visual communications, including videos and presentations
  • Writing and editing
  • Website development
  • Social media creation and management

Some job titles to research in the communications field include:

  • Communication operations specialist
  • Technical writer/editor
  • Visual information specialist
  • Graphic designer
  • Publications officer
  • Communications editor or writer 

Infrastructure and Logistics Roles in National Security

In addition to business and communication roles, the field of national security also has strong infrastructure and logistical needs. There are many infrastructure and logistical opportunities to consider as well.

It takes thousands of individuals throughout the world with unique skill sets to ensure the security of the U.S., and operations teams are vital. Physical facilities and supply chains are essential to ensure the smooth running of an agency.

For instance, designing facilities and ensuring the normal functions of these facilities are important responsibilities. People who have prior experience or education in infrastructure and logistics can look for national security opportunities in:

  • Construction management
  • Facilities operations and management
  • Space management
  • Employee health and safety
  • Automotive fleet management
  • Telecommunications management
  • Mail/freight management
  • Electronic security

If you have experience designing and maintaining facilities and infrastructure or have a background in one of these fields, there are several national security opportunities that are worth your time to investigate:

  • Architecture, interior design and graphic arts
  • Carpentry and locksmithing
  • Construction management, acquisition services and real property disposal
  • Engineering
  • Occupational safety and industrial hygiene
  • Real estate
  • Space management
  • Supply chain and logistics

This sector of national security can involve designing physical facilities, preparing drawings and calculations for facilities engineers, and analyzing HVAC, air distribution, or piping systems. Some job titles to look for include:

  • Facility operations specialist
  • Facilities project manager
  • Supply chain analyst
  • Realty specialist
  • Architect
  • Engineer

Explore New Opportunities at the National Security Virtual Career Fair

Whether you already work in national security, seek an entry-level job or are transitioning from another field, consider attending our National Security Virtual Career Fair on August 11, 2021, to learn more about the countless job opportunities available in this field. You can register for this exciting opportunity in the ecampus Success Center by visiting Career Services’ Virtual Career Fairs page.

Attending a Virtual Career Fair (VCF) can be intimidating, but with the right information and preparation, you can be successful. The goal of attending any of our VCFs is to build your network and gain contact information for the recruiters at the companies you are targeting.

A great strategy for a VCF is to let recruiters know which jobs you’ve applied for and ask to talk more about your unique qualifications for those roles. Let recruiters know why you want to work for their organization and emphasize why they must talk with you now. By providing a clear and compelling elevator pitch and asking questions that promote conversation, you will stand out.

Related link: How to Follow Up with Recruiters after a Virtual Career Fair

The incredible career coaches in the Department of Career Services are here to help you prepare for such events. If you are a current student or alumni, feel free to submit your resume for a complimentary review prior to the VCF. For assistance creating your elevator pitch or defining target roles or companies, connect with an industry-aligned coach for specialized assistance by emailing Career Services.

You can learn more about which employers will attend our National Security VCF and gain valuable tips to help you stand out by joining me for our Last Chance Insights Webinar on August 10, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. ET. I hope to see you there!   

Kim Slaughter has worked in the field of higher education for more than nine years. As a Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF), Kim currently works as a career coach for the university. As a career coach, she assists students and alumni accomplish career goals through identifying career strengths and key educational experiences to demonstrate strong differentiation for the job market. Kim earned a M.A. in Psychology in 2020 from AMU and an MBA in 2011 from Shepherd University.

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